Stifled in Decision-Making?

To get the greatest benefit from this practicum, make sure you have read related training on the site. Click below to read about The Great Commission:

If you are feeling stifled in decision-making, go back to the Great Commission for some help in breaking free. You will first need to determine what it is that might be keeping you from making effective decisions.

  1. You might be prevented from making decisions due to the lines of authority in an autocratic, hierarchical structure. You might be encumbered with so much red tape that you never seem to get anywhere. You might be micromanaged by those over you.

Remember this part of the Great Commission: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18)

Ultimate authority resides in the Lord Jesus who is the Head of the Church. You are personally accountable to Him for what you do and so are those over you. Remember, however, that God does instruct us to respect, submit to, and pray for those in authority over us (Rom. 13:1-5; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:12-17). While this might not free you up to make more decisions, it should give you peace knowing that God is fully aware and will use this situation as you honor Him by the way you treat those over you.

  1. You might be stuck in maintenance mode or tradition, trying to perpetuate what you have always done so decision-making is rather lack-luster, confined to what is routine.

Remember this part of the Great Commission: “Go”

Going suggests movement, not staying in one place doing the same thing over and over. We need a fluidity that allows us to assess and adapt decisions to change in ways that will enable us to most effectively make disciples.

  1. You might be focused on programs that consume all of your time and attention and bring with them certain constraints in decision-making that make you feel like you can’t get anywhere.

Remember this part of the Great Commission: “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20a)

You will more than likely need to develop strategies for accomplishing this mission but programming should merely be a tool to fulfill this objective. If we are governed by our structures and methodology, unable to move because of them, they have likely taken on a life of their own and become what we do. Instead of going and making disciples, we are staying and oiling the machinery.

  1. You might be stifled by your own fears and insecurities, not willing to take risks in decision-making. You want to stay in your comfort zone.

Remember this part of the Great Commission: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)

Confidence comes when we realize we aren’t in this alone. The all-knowing One is with us so we don’t have to lean on our own understanding. The all-powerful One is with us so we can overcome obstacles that may come our way.

5 Replies to “Stifled in Decision-Making?”

    • The term “abusive” can cover a lot of territory. You must determine if they are expecting you to cross the line into idolatry or sin as revealed in God’s Word. Look at Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Old Testament as an example. They submitted to the authority of those over them in many ways they may not have wanted to but when it came to bowing down or praying to another god, they drew the line, knowing that they could suffer consequences (Dan. 3, 6). In their cases, God did deliver them but there were others throughout Scripture and history who became martyrs in staying true to God. Remember the words of 1 Peter 3:17 — “For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” The verse prior to that verse speaks of the importance of keeping a clear conscious. The problem I have seen in many situations about which you are writing is that so often rebellion against authority is because of preferences or discomfort more than because the leader is expecting us to sin or commit idolatry. We must be careful that we do not sin by our response to such authority. We must heed God’s instruction in Romans 13:1-5, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, and 1 Peter 2:12-17.

        • Perhaps God will want us to leave but in so doing, we must still show utmost respect and honor to those over us. We must do everything we can to leave in peace and with a good conscious. See Romans 12:17-21. We must leave because we are convinced it is God’s will for us, not merely because we are frustrated.

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